City Directories and History: 1908 – James K. Henry (Attorney @ 141 Main Street), Sarah E. Henry, 1940 – J.K. Henry, Jennie E. White (Nurse), 1958 – Mary M. Moore
For his daughter Catherine Kennedy, the wife of the Reverend L. C. Hinton, Major Kennedy built the house known to us as Judge J.K. Henry’s home in circa 1852. The tract of land was 40 acres in extent, being the whole area between Columbia street and the Southern Railroad, being at the Tanyard branch. It was largely covered by native forest and trees was only a patch leading to Chester’s First Baptist Church, Mr. Hinton’s church, which at that time was the only church in Chester.
The original house was a square eight room dwelling painted white with green blinds, with a portico both down and upstairs. This property, which had meantime come into the possession of Charles H. Brice, a lawyer, was purchased in 1890 by Mrs. J. K. Henry. The Henry’s made important improvements in the house, including spacious verandas and imposing columns. The splendid old house, which crowns the present College street, fairly represents the generous hospitality of the family who have been its last occupants. One many fancy that the spirit of the original donor, Major John Kennedy, grew and blossomed in the house during the last fifty years. Old Homes of Chester, SC by Mrs. John C. White
The 1860 Census of Chester lists several important individuals living as neighbors at this location including; Tscharner H. DeGraffenried and his wife Mary E., (brother to Allen DeGraffenried) who is listed with a net worth of $154,800., Jacob F. Strait and his wife Isabella are listed with a net worth of $19,958. (Jacob Fox Strait was the father of Rock Hill’s first surgeon Wm. Frances Strait, M.D.), James S. McClure and his wife Sallie with a net worth of $181,051., Rev. L.C. Hinton with a personal worth of $41,290., (Mrs. Hinton’s assets were listed separately at an additional $130,489. and merchant H.G. Brawley with assets of $91,950.
Mr. James K. Henry was a partner in the firm of Henry and McClure, a solicitor of the 6th circuit court and attorney for the National Exchange Bank of Chester, S.C. and the Federal Trust Company.
Chalmers Davidson wrote in The Last Foray, deGraffenried, Tscharner Hobson of “Oakland,” Sandy River, plantation. Born 1810 (S.C.?); married Apri. 20, 1852, Mary Eaton Johnston (died Aug. 12, 1897); died Sept. 24, 1863. Education: College of S.C. (left 1827). Church: Baptist (Deacon, Cool Branch). Slaves: 108 (Chester District).
“…… Killough (Henry) returned to his father’s farm where he plowed for a year and ran a public cotton gin powered by a horse and only left the farm for three days during the year. While at home, his mother implored him to return to Erskine to complete his college education. She later became ill and died that year on June 25, 1877. According to a memorial written by her pastor, Killough was called to her bedside and Sarah Torbit Henry’s last words to him were “Killough, pray for me.” He prayed, and he also decided to heed his mother’s solicitation and return to Erskine College in the fall of 1877.
The now more mature and serious Killough Henry, 21 years old, sold three bales of cotton in Chester to help pay his way to college, applied himself conscientiously to studying, and graduated in 1878. In spite of his earlier resolution not to ask for employment as a teacher again, he became a teacher and taught successfully in York County at Jones’ Mill, in Chester County, and in the town of Chester. While teaching in Chester, he chose to study law after school hours. He was encouraged by several lawyers…. He passed the Bar Examination in Columbia, South Carolina on May 29, 1883 and began his law practice in Chester.
In that same year Killough was elected Elder at the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church then located on Center Street (where the Episcopal Church is now). He joined his father on the Session. They served together for several years before his father died in 1892. His parents were charter members when the church was organized at Old Purity in 1869, and when the church moved into town in 1871 to the former old Methodist Church on Center St. Killough enthusiastically began teaching a class of young boys in the Sabbath School of the church and spent many Sabbath afternoons drilling them in the shorter catechism.”
(Information in part from: Chester County Heritage Book, Vol. I, Edt. by Collins – Knox, Published by the Chester Co Hist. Society – Jostens Printing, 1982)
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